The transfer portal carried Brandon McKissic to the SEC — and just a little farther east than some might have hoped.
The UMKC guard committed to Florida on Friday, opting for the Gators over Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Saint Louis and Oregon State. And it leaves the Tigers with four vacancies — three in the backcourt alone — to fill in a fast-moving and crowded transfer market.
McKissic’s versatility would have fit nicely into MU’s overhauled roster. At worst, his spot-up shooting would make him a suitable floor-spacer. During four years with the ‘Roos, the St. Louis native canned 44.5 percent of his spot-up attempts, averaging 1.175 points per possession, according to Synergy Sports tracking data.
Last season, though, McKissic, who averaged 17.3 points and 3.3 assists, expanded his game as a driver, mainly out of pick-and-rolls. He converted at 62 percent clip on those possessions, per Synergy data. While MU’s offense emphasized those kinds of shots, its guards struggled with rim finishing. And as a passer, he graded out well enough at finding teammates rolling out of those looks.
That blend would have allowed McKissic to play any of the three guard spots in MU’s rotation. In one lineup, he might have operated as a 3-and-D wing. Another might have utilized him as a secondary ball-handler. Or, if necessary, he could have run the offense.
Missing out on McKissic is undoubtedly disappointing. When he left UMKC, the assumption was he would return home and join Saint Louis. Instead, he fielded offers from Florida, Connecticut and Kansas. By last weekend, all signs pointed to McKissic winding up in Lawrence — until the Jayhawks landed Bobby Pettiford and three-time DII All-American Cam Martin. Meanwhile, Kansas State filled two guard openings with former MU guard Mark Smith and UALR transfer Markquis Nowell.
Those roster machinations elsewhere essentially made it a three-team race among Florida, Mizzou and SLU. In the end, coach Mike White won out.
Earlier today, Sam Snelling walked you the options moving forward, but I’ll run through them briefly. Mizzou has reached out to Eastern Kentucky’s Wendell Green Jr. and Toledo’s Marreon Jackson. Shaka Smart’s departure from Texas left Tamar Bates — the No. 56 prospect nationally and a prime prep target — searching for a new landing spot. It’s also worth keeping an eye on whether Roy Williams’ retirement in Chapel Hill has Caleb Love on the move.
With more than 1,000 names now in the NCAA’s transfer portal, Martin and his staff aren’t without alternatives to explore.